We truly believe that you’re NEVER too old to enjoy an Easter basket, but could some of the treats the Easter Bunny is leaving for your kids, your spouse or you be dangerous to your health? 

Consumer Reports urges people to reconsider eating certain colors of a popular Easter treat sold across Idaho. 

Candy Sold in Idaho May Cause Cancer


With just a few days left to collect treats for the perfect Easter basket, Consumer Reports is spreading the word that an ingredient found in several varieties of Peeps marshmallow candies is a known carcinogen. The ingredient, Red Dye No. 3, is used to make the candies pink or purple. 

According to the FDA’s website, companies have not been allowed to use coloring in cosmetics or external drugs in the United States since 1990. However, they are still allowed to use the dye itself in food and drugs that are meant to be ingested. 

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Consumer Reports explains that decades of studies have shown that Red Dye No. 3, which is derived from petroleum, can cause cancer in animals. In one of these studies, lab rats were fed large amounts of artificial coloring. The animals later went on to develop thyroid tumors. The publication also states that artificial coloring could be linked to hyperactivity and other behavioral problems in kids. 

The United Kingdom banned the additive from all foods except several varieties of cherries in 1990 for those very reasons. 31 years after the ban, Get Baked, a bakery in the UK was busted for using imported American sprinkles that contained the ingredient. They were forced to dump dozens of their best-selling cookies topped with the sprinkles. According to several news outlets, the owner was very upset and said he was going on a “sprinkle strike” because sprinkles made in the UK just didn’t have the same vibrant look. 

Which Peeps Candies Contain Red Dye No. 3?


When asked to comment on the use of Red Dye No. 3 in their products, Just Born Quality Confections told USA Today that they are “continually exploring opportunities to provide expanded options for our consumers, including colors derived from natural sources that can deliver the same visual impact and stability as their certified counterparts” but didn’t indicate that they’d be making a change anytime soon. They also stated that they’re following the FDA regulations since the food dye is not illegal in the United States.

Consumer Reports says you’ll find Red Dye No. 3 in the following Peeps products. We searched through Walmart, Albertsons and Fred Meyer’s websites to see if these products are still in stock in the Boise area. Six of the eight varieties are still available to purchase locally. 

8 Peeps Products Containing a Carcinogen Called Red Dye #3

While still legal for use in food in the United States, Red Dye #3 has been known to cause cancer in animals. It's found in these Peeps products. A quick check of local Walmart, Albertsons and Fred Meyer websites show that at least six of these varieties are still available in the Treasure Valley leading up to Easter 2023.

KEEP READING: Boise and the Treasure Valley's Ultimate Easter Egg Hunt Guide 2023

Is your group, organization or church holding a community Easter Egg hunt? Click here to tell us about it. Make sure you include the name of your organization, the address of the event and a little bit about what to expect.

These are the best-selling Easter candies in America

Instacart looked at data leading up to the 2022 Easter holiday season to see which candies were the most popular across the nation, as well as which candies were top-sellers in each state.

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